Alternative sources of Omega-3

Diet is a major factor in the health, growth, and quality of farmed salmon. In particular, the long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are essential nutrients in salmon feed. These nutrients are historically sourced from ocean-caught fish; however, the ocean cannot provide enough of these nutrients to sustainably supply the rapidly growing aquaculture industry.

An aerial view of green algae

Omega-3 from marine algae - an innovative solution for increased protein production

Skretting feeds containing no fish meal or fish oil can successfully grow salmon to harvest size with no negative impact on fish performance or health while retaining the nutritional content of the salmon fillet.

This was made possible with the innovation from our collaborator Veramaris  to produce industry-first marine algal oil containing both long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. Through our collaboration, the dream of being infinitely flexible with feed ingredients became a reality.

Made possible through expert knowledge

Fish oil has traditionally been difficult to substitute in fish feed because the only source of EPA and DHA was small pelagic fish harvested from the ocean;  a limited resource that is also in high demand from feed, food and pharmaceutical sectors. Through the culture of microalgae, fatty acids can be obtained while bypassing the marine food chain entirely.

Research by Skretting Aquaculture Innovation (AI) focuses on gaining a deep understanding of ingredients, their nutritional properties, and their interactions within the fish. Through this understanding and formulation technology, feed ingredients have become interchangeable and infinitely flexible, enabling farmers to produce more fish from less resources – essentially this means maximum nutrition with minimal impact.

Collaboration is essential

Along with other players in the value chain, we are part of a multi-stakeholder movement. To feed the world in decades to come we will need to produce more protein using fewer natural resources – we need to reduce our dependence on natural resources that are limited in availability as the industry grows. Finding alternative ingredients requires innovation – and we can only drive this through close collaboration and strategic partnerships across the value chain. Collaboration and innovation are essential to help us fulfil our purpose of Feeding the Future.

Omega-3 from Canola

There is a gap between how much omega-3 oil the ocean can supply and how much aquaculture needs to support fish health. Feed inclusion rates for these essential nutrients have declined as production has increased over the past twenty years, yet study after study indicates the benefits of high omega-3 content for fish health and fillet nutrition. Novel sources of long-chain fatty acids are vital to expanding our business without adding pressure to marine resources.

Nuseed is a global leader in seed development, who developed the world’s first canola-based source of DHA and EPA; Aquaterra® This ingredient is well aligned with our goals and values and doesn’t demand additional farmlands or add pressure to marine resources.  Just one to two hectares of Nuseed Omega-3 Canola produces as much DHA as 10,000 kg of wild caught fish oil.

Since the commercial launch in 2020, Aquaterra has become an important tool for reducing dependence on foraged fish oil in our Chilean and Canadian operations. The partnership will continue to expand as Nuseed gains regulatory approval in additional salmon production markets.

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